Molten Glass

Catholic Poetry Room
This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by John Darretta.                                                                                                                          
Molten Glass

Soft colors slowly shift along the ancient chancel wall,
trails of light beaming through a tinted window at my back,
as from without, above the whir of traffic and stir of life,
burning sun pierces the glass, suffusing hues in trails of light,
streaming them on the wall like a magic lantern of divinity.

Under a shade of stillness, I watch the projected prism,
floating from red to orange, yellow, green, blue to violet,
as it turns to wax and wane, slow crawl and rest,
brushing over and through my eyes with a palette of pigments,
saffroned, azured, and crimsoned with dyes of warm light.

It is the yellow-orange glare that invites and envelops,
and I do not know if it is my affinity for marigold or tangerine,
smoldering sunlight or trembling flick of candle flame,
but it draws like a fragrance of God suddenly palpable,
as if turning a corner of the garden into a rush of lilac.

All too soon, the sun’s rays lift me over the nebulous blush,
where I am gathered into molten glass, coaxed on a color wheel
to a place I know, bright and boundless, where I blend
with the blazing light and when, for a shining moment,
I lose all heavy darkness.


A former metropolitan New York college professor, John Lawrence Darretta holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Fordham University. As Fulbright Professor to Italy, he taught at universities in Milan and Turin. He studied at Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin and The American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He has written articles on American literature and Italian cinema and is author of Vittorio DeSica (G. K. Hall) and Before the Sun Has Set: Retribution in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor (Peter Lang Publishing). His poetry has appeared in America Magazine, Penwood Review, Journal of Pastoral Counseling, Haiku Journal, First Literary Review-East, The Avalon Literary Review and other venues. Nature’s Wheel, a book of his poetry, was recently published by Kelsay Books.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Essmann, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.


Jeffrey Essmann is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Jeffrey is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Not Taken. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.

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